How to Track a Phone – Explaining the Methods

How to Track a Phone – Explaining the Methods

As most of the mobile community are using smartphones nowadays, there is now many ways and method to track a phone using existing technology and infrastructure. Below are the three most common ways of tracking a phone.

1. Track phone using GPS

With almost all smartphones are embedded with GPS, this method is now the most common method in locating and tracking a smartphone with GPS. However you can also actually turn off your smartphone GPS. The GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The GPS is a “constellation” of 24 well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth and make it possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location. The location accuracy is anywhere from 100 to 10 meters for most equipment. Accuracy can be pinpointed to within one (1) meter with special military-approved equipment. GPS equipment has now become sufficiently low-cost that now almost all smartphones has GPS receiver already embedded in the hardware.

2. Track phone using cell tower triangulation
Another common way is tracking your phone using IMEI. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. You cannot simply use the IMEI to track your phone using any app in the market but this proves useful for the cell phone network operator. This is because the IMEI stands as unique identifier for your phone. Therefore, the cell phone network operator can pinpoint your cell phone by identifying which of its cell tower manage to detect your phone or your IMEI in their cell tower network. By using triangulation tower method, it will know which nearest tower your mobile is communicating through its signal strength and therefore can pinpoint the location. The triangulation method is basically a method of determining the cell phones location by measuring the angles to it from identified known points or a fixed baseline. By referencing the speed of radio signals, the distance and location from the unknown point can be estimated by identifying three to four known points. The known points can be where the antennas for the cell phone operator is mounted. The first known point identifies the distance to the cell phone. The second known point then narrows down the location to two points. The third known point is then used to identify the exact location of the cell phone. Basically the concept is narrowing the exact location of the cell phone by eliminating the large area of a certain location to pinpoint location by using three filters or three known points. Two direction lines define a point area and the third line defines the exact location.

3. Track phone using internet
Gadgets and devices are now heavily interconnected with the internet than ever before. The need for this gadget to be readily connected to the internet has also allow some of this apps to have an auto-refresh function. Some of the apps that use auto-refresh function is the Gmail apps. If you have installed the Gmail app in your phone, this app will normally auto-refresh for several minutes as to check any incoming email. Therefore, if you linked your smartphones with the Gmail app, it is possible for you to track down your phone if it got stolen or lost. This is because when the smartphones are being accessed through the internet, you can track your phone using the internet through readily available apps such as Gmail app. The Gmail app will automatically detect the IP address and therefore you can use that information and roughly estimate where your devices are located.

Top 3 Ways on How to Locate your Lost Phone

If you have that bad experience of losing your mobile phone, you would be regretting that you have not taken certain precaution and pre-emptive action to make sure you can track your lost phone once it is stolen or gone. However, with the advance mobile tracking technology that we have right now, the possibility to track and recover back your lost phone is now possible. Here in this article we list out the top 3 ways that you can use to track your lost phone.

1. Track your phone using IMEI number
IMEI is an acronym that stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is used as a unique identifier to identify mobile phones in particular. IMEI is only unique to the phone device and not to the subscriber of the phone. Similar to a car that have a unique chassis number, each mobile phone in the world will have a unique IMEI number put by the manufacturer of the mobile phone. GSM network provider used this IMEI number to identify the devices that is connecting to their network. Because of this, the network operator can be contacted and they can assist to either stop your stolen phone from accessing the network as well as tracking your phone. You can read more on how to track phone by using IMEI here. You can immediately check you phone’s IMEI number by typing *#06# at your keypad and it will show a string of unique 15 numbers. These number represents your IMEI mobile phone number. You can report your lost stolen phone and submit the IMEI number to the network operator for them to either block the phone or track it.

2. Track your phone using Google services
If you are using a Samsung or any other Android based operating system mobile devices, you can apparently use some of Google services to track your lost phone. One of the simplest way is to track your mobile phone using Android Device Manager. If you have a Gmail account you will already have an access to the Android Device Manager. Make sure to pair your account with your Android based mobile devices. You can visit the Android Device Manager site here to pair your devices. Another option is the Google Location History. You need to enable your location history and it will track any mobile devices that you have and only you can see it. It can even show you the timeline of your mobile devices and you can track the footprint of the mobile devices wherever it goes.
Track phone using Google location history

3. Track your phone using Smartphone apps
One of the fastest way to track your lost phone is by using an app. This app need to be pre-installed in your mobile devices and can be immediately be activated from another mobile or laptop to track your lost phone. It can also remotely lock your phone or erase the phone immediately once you realised your phone is gone or stolen. Read more on this here on how to track your phone using apps. The iPhone or iPad normally will already have a pre-installed ‘Find iPhone’ app that can track your phone or lock it remotely. You can also read more here on how to track a phone without an app.

So, there you have it. The top 3 ways on how to locate your lost phone. We also provided a short animation video above that briefly explain on these 3 methods for your viewing pleasure.

How to Locate a Phone

As your phone has become one of the most important part and requirement of your daily life, the more frequent you take it to everywhere you go. Some people even bring it close to their bed while they are sleeping at night. With the smartphones getting cheaper and affordable, many people now owns a smartphone nowadays. However, there is also an increasing trend of people losing their smartphones as well and this figure have been alarmingly increasing every year. According to statistics, about 100 cell phones are either lost or stolen every minute in the United States alone and this figure will rise in the future. With an estimated 97% of the US population are using cell phones, it has become a necessity that each owner needs to be careful and aware of the potential of smartphones theft and also phone misplaced.

This website is not offering services to locate a phone. However, this website is dedicated to compile the information on everything that you need to know on how to locate a phone when it is either lost or stolen. We have listed several articles on how you can locate your phone by different methods and techniques. Below are some of our best referred articles on the ways that you can track your lost phone.

Locate phone using IMEI number
Believe it or not, you can actually track your phone by using the IMEI number of your phone. This is due to the fact that the IMEI number act as a unique ID to your phone and therefore the phone can be track based on this vital information. Read more on this in Track your mobile phone using IMEI.

Locate using Google services
Google actually are taking this tracking phone seriously as they provide several services that can track the Android based smartphones. You can read this in Track Lost Android Phone using Android Device Manager and also Track Phone using Google Location History. You can also read on how to use information in your Dropbox account to track your lost phone on how to Track your phone using internet.

Locate using built-in smartphones apps and purchased apps
Lastly, with the powerful apps that have been created for smartphones in recent years, there are also now many apps that can be used to locate a phone. Among the popularly used is the Find my iPhone, Seekdroid and also Android Device Manager. However, you can still locate a phone even if you did not install any app when you have lost it. You can read this on How to track a cell phone after you lose it and also Track my iPhone without App.